The 2015 P.B. Lawrence Stakes nominations have been released and cult hero The Cleaner is set to return to the races in the Group 2 event that will be held at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Cleaner has been a popular galloper right around Australia since he first appeared in Melbourne in 2012, but he went to another level during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival with an impressive string of performances.
The Savoire Vivre gelding secured a place in the 2014 Cox Plate field when he scored a memorable win in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6 and he proved that win was no fluke when he took out the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley on September 26.
The Cleaner finished a credible ninth in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 and he returned to his best form with a third place finish in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 8 before he failed to fire in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on November 22.
The veteran gelding started his autumn preparation with a second place finish behind Admiral in the Listed George Adams Plate (1600m) at Launceston on February 25 and he finished a tough fourth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14 before he was sent to the spelling paddock after a fifth place finish in the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on April 4.
The Cox Plate will be the major 2015 Spring Racing Carnival target for The Cleaner once again and he is also set to defend his title in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes.
One of the most interesting runners in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes nominations is David Hayes-trained Dibayani, who is set to make his Australian racing debut.
Dibayani finished in the placings in races like the Group 1 Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m), Group 1 Hong Kong Derby (2000m) and Group 1 The Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m), but he was sent to Australia after he had a bleeding issue in the Group 2 Sha Tin Trophy (1600m) in October last year.
He is joined in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes nominations by talented entire Petrology, who returned to the races with a credible third in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 25.
Smokin’ Joey took out the Bletchingly Stakes and he will have the chance to record his third straight win at Stakes level in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes.
Melbourne Cup hopeful Big Memory, Gai Waterhouse-trained Excess Knowledge, Australia Stakes winner Mourinho, Wayne Walters-trained No Tricks, Crown Oaks winner Set Square and Adelaide Cup runner-up Taiyoo have also been included in the 2015 P.B. Lawrence Stakes nominations.
Notable winners of the P.B. Lawrence Stakes in recent years include Regal Roller (2004), Pompeii Ruler (2006), Apache Cat (2007), Light Fantastic (2008), Shoot Out (2010), Whobegotyou (2011) and Puissance De Lune (2013).